Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Deny Yourself...

In Luke 9:23 Jesus says we are to "deny ourselves take up our cross and follow Him." So I got to thinking about the "deny yourself" part. What does that look like?

When you can watch your peers and those close to you prosper and succeed without feeling jealous but rather rejoice in their success, then you know the meaning of deny yourself.

When you see other people's needs being met with abundance while your needs are far greater and you don't question God or fail to be grateful for what you do have, that's denying yourself.

When you chose to serve your wife or husband or children and put their needs ahead of yours, that's denying yourself.

When you don't seek praise or fish for compliments and approval from others and when you can live without constantly being recognized and applauded, that's denying yourself.

When you draw out the other person in conversation rather than telling your stories and opinions, that's denying yourself.

When you accept criticism willingly and learn from it with a teachable attitude, that's denying yourself.

When you place the comfort of others ahead of your own comfort, when you allow others to do a job that you know you're better trained to do, when you submit to authority over you even though you don't understand or agree, that's denying yourself.

When you can be content with less than the best of circumstances without griping or complaining, when you can accept interruptions that God places in your schedule and patiently endure irritations, that's denying yourself.

When you are content to let God settle the score and content to wait for your reward in heaven, that's denying yourself.

When you have the attitude of Jesus in all things, that's denying yourself.

The more I think about it the more I realize that the fundamental challenge of life, the biggest battle you will ever face, is the battle over self centeredness. It is life's fundamental challenge.

Philippians 4:13 - "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me."